Summer barbeques have come and gone. Our shorts are put away for the season. The days are getting shorter. We are digging out our sweaters and winter coats in preparation for the season that lies ahead: winter.
Our furnaces are on and this weekend our clocks fall back. In Minnesota, many of us get the “winter blues.” We stay in our houses, we eat more, we sleep more and we bundle up on the couch to watch television more than we do in the summer.
No, we can’t change the fact that winter is coming but we can change our attitudes, our motivation, and make some healthy changes before it officially arrives. Oh yes, think "I can do it."
You may think, "easier said than done, lady," but I will give you a personal example.
I recently I was stuck in what I call a “rut”. I teach the same four to five classes each week at the local YMCA and needed to shake things up a bit. So, this fall I signed up for my first Duathlon and a 10k race. While accomplishing the races felt great, I did find that the extra cardio sessions each week were actually keeping me in my “rut”. I had lost all of my baby weight from my second son a few months back, but just wanted to tone up more and feel better. I set out on my "test" mission for about four weeks. Obviously, adding more cardio was not doing the trick for me (good lesson learned).
I decreased my cardio workouts and added more strength- TRX, yoga and weights. I started drinking a protein shake with lunch (fruit, Almond milk, Greek yogurt, protein powder and flax). I also stopped eating after 7pm (if this is a hard habit for you to break, brush your teeth at 7pm and you won't want to eat). I added a serving of protein to my breakfast each morning. I added more vegetables to my diet. Within about three weeks, I could tell a difference. Clothes fit me better and I reached my goal.
Feeling good, I took myself on a fall shopping spree—buying some updated things for my wardrobe. I cleaned out my closet, re-organized a few things around the house, and then colored my hair darker for fall. Now, as the clocks fall back this weekend I feel refreshed and motivated. I am ready to tackle winter before it tackles me!
Are you stuck in a rut? Even making small changes, like I did, can help you feel better. Start now while the seasons are changing. Reconnect with friends, paint a room in your house a new color, try a new restaurant, try out a new workout class, meet a friend for yoga, try new recipes (Um, Pinterest anyone?), run your first 5k, or plan a fun date night. Whatever your goal may be, write it down, take baby steps to accomplish it and go get ‘em! It might be exactly what you need to defeat those winter blues! Start now, you’ll be thankful.
Once you accomplish goals, you’ll set new ones because it feels great—some may say it’s addicting!